Ethiopia, Egypt resume talks over Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Construction workers are seen at a distance in a section of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, as it undergoes construction, during a media tour along the river Nile in Benishangul Gumuz Region, Guba Woreda, in Ethiopia March 31, 2015. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met on Thursday with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew who expressed Ethiopia’s keenness on boosting bilateral relations with Egypt and resuming negotiations over its under-construction dam on their shared Nile River.

Andargachew conveyed a message to Sisi from Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, “stressing his country’s great interest in boosting all aspects of bilateral relations and enhancing friendship ties with Egypt,” the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

The Ethiopian prime minister asserted in the message “the importance of close coordination between Ethiopia and Egypt to achieve stability in Africa and the region, including supporting the Sudanese people to overcome the current challenges.”

Ahmed also stressed his keenness on resuming tripartite talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to reach an agreement on the rules of filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Upstream Nile Basin country Ethiopia and downstream Sudan eye massive benefits from the GERD construction, while downstream Egypt is concerned it might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the Nile River water.

In March 2015, the leaders of the three countries signed an initial cooperation deal on the principles of sharing the river water and the construction of the GERD, which will be Africa’s largest dam upon completion.

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